It appears that Real Madrid will be without its superstar Cristiano Ronaldo for the La Liga match against Celta Vigo this Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
This is certainly a blow for “Los Blancos” as they desperately try to cling to the hope of winning La Liga, where they find themselves four points away from leaders Atletico Madrid and one point back from Barcelona.
Sunday’s match against Celta Vigo — which holds the ninth place in the standings — is critical, as was proven by the Valladolid match, and could potentially decide Real’s fate in La Liga.
The Portuguese striker suffered from a hamstring injury and was pulled out in the 8th minute against Valladolid, and what followed was an uncharacteristic draw against one of the weakest teams in the Spanish league.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke with reporters on Saturday:
“We have to react and play with character and personality in the Balaídos.”
“We have to beat Celta and then hope because there could be more upsets. We’ve lost points in La Liga and we have two matches to win. It could be that the league is over tomorrow or it could be more open that we expect. There have been a lot of shock results this season in La Liga and we have to be ready in case it happens again.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is not the only starter that is out. Ancelotti said that Pepe, Varane, Carvajal, and Di María will not be available to play against Celta. The good news is that Gareth Bale is available and Iker Casillas will be guarding the goal.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) May 10, 2014
Ancelotti discussed Ronaldo’s absence and how Real Madrid will manage after consulting with Cristiano:
“He won’t play tomorrow because he’s not 100 percent fit. We’ve won plenty of games without him, although he is still a fundamental player for us. We’re not going to risk him if he’s not 100 percent. We have to think about winning without him. It is a mutual decision and I prefer not to take risks.”
Ronaldo has enjoyed a stellar season, winning the Ballon d’Or as the best player in the world earlier this year and breaking records with his incredible scoring skills.
Contrary to what most believe, Ancelotti says that pulling Cristiano Ronaldo out of the Celta match has nothing to do with the Champions League final:
“We’re not thinking ahead to the final of the Champions League, it’s just that these players are unavailable. We’ll do our best because mathematically we still have a chance of winning the league. Anything can happen in football and tomorrow I’ll select a team that will go out to win. That’s the goal. Cristiano Ronaldo, above all else, could play if tomorrow were a final, but as it’s not we won’t be involved.”
Real Madrid sans Cristiano Ronaldo kick-off against Celta Viga, Sunday at 1 pm/ET.